Can You Leave Gas In A Lawn Mower Over Winter?

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By Kirsi Jansa

Leaving gas in a lawn mower over winter can cause issues, as the fuel may degrade and lead to poor engine performance. It is advisable to run the mower dry or use a fuel stabilizer to preserve the gasoline’s quality. Properly winterizing the equipment ensures optimal functionality when it’s time to mow again in spring.

Can You Leave Gas In A Lawn Mower Over Winter

Winterizing a Gas Lawn Mower: Storage Guide

Step 1: Drain or Stabilize Fuel

Drain the fuel from the tank before storing your gas lawn mower for the winter or add a fuel stabilizer. Draining prevents stale fuel issues, while a stabilizer preserves the gasoline’s quality, ensuring a smooth start in the spring.

Removing Fuel: You can drain the fuel by siphoning or running the mower until the fuel tank is empty and the engine stops, or you can use non-siphon methods.

Adding Stabilizer: If opting to use a stabilizer, typically add 1 ounce of stabilizer to every 2.5 gallons of fuel, following the product’s instructions. Mix thoroughly by running the mower for a few minutes, ensuring the stabilized fuel circulates through the engine.

Step 2: Change the Oil

Check the mower’s manual for the recommended oil change interval. Changing the oil before winter storage helps remove contaminants, ensuring longevity and optimal engine performance.

Step 3: Clean the Mower

Clean grass clippings, dirt, and debris from the mower’s deck and blades. This prevents rust and corrosion. Ensure the mower is dry to avoid moisture-related issues.

Step 4: Remove or Disconnect the Spark Plug

Remove or disconnect the spark plug to ensure the mower doesn’t start accidentally while in storage. This step adds a layer of safety when performing maintenance or cleaning.

Step 5: Sharpen the Blades

Sharpening the blades before storage ensures the mower is ready for immediate use in the spring. Sharp blades provide a clean cut, promoting healthier lawn growth.

Step 6: Check and Replace Air Filter

Inspect the air filter for dirt and damage. Replace it if necessary, as a clean air filter ensures better air intake, improving the mower’s efficiency and longevity.

Step 7: Store in a Dry, Sheltered Location

Store the lawn mower in a dry, sheltered location to protect it from the elements. Avoid leaving it in a place where it could be exposed to moisture, which could cause rusting and damage.

Step 8: Cover the Mower

Cover the mower with a suitable cover from dust and dirt. This helps keep the mower clean and ready for use when the mowing season begins again.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can gas sit in a lawn mower?

Gasoline in a lawn mower can generally sit for about 30 days before it starts to degrade and potentially harm the engine. Using a fuel stabilizer can extend this period.

How do you tell that lawn mower gas has gone bad?

Bad gas in a lawn mower may have a sour smell, appear darker in color, and contain visible debris or water. The mower might also struggle to start or run inefficiently.

How can you tell if the lawn mower spark plug has gone bad?

A bad spark plug may cause the lawn mower to run rough, be difficult to start, or not start at all. It can be visually inspected for corrosion, deposits, or a damaged electrode.

How long can you store a lawn mower?

A lawn mower can be stored indefinitely as long as it is properly maintained and winterized. Ensuring it is clean, dry, and free of stale fuel and oil will help in long-term storage.

How much does it cost to winterize a lawn mower?

The cost to winterize a lawn mower can vary, but it is generally inexpensive, especially if done DIY. It might range from $20 to $100, depending on the maintenance needed and whether professional service is used.

What tools do I need for winterizing a lawn mower?

Basic tools like a wrench, screwdriver, oil drain pan, and a container for old fuel are needed. Supplies such as oil, a fuel stabilizer, a new spark plug, and an air filter might also be necessary.

Can emptying the fuel tank harm the lawn mower engine?

Emptying the fuel tank won’t harm the lawn mower engine; it prevents stale fuel issues. However, ensure that the fuel system, not just the tank, is completely drained to avoid any residue causing problems.

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